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Can You Sue Someone for a Dog Bite?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMA), more than 4.5 million people are victims to dog bites each year. Of these, 6,000 are hospitalized for their injuries.

California has some of the strictest dog bit laws in the country. Assuming the incident was due to negligence, the dog owner is legally responsible for damages endured as a result of the attack, including your medical expenses and compensation for your pain and suffering.

Who Can Sue for Damages?

California Civil Code section 3342 (CC 3342) is the state’s official dog bite statute. The statute explicitly states who can and cannot sue if they are bitten by another person’s dog.

A person can sue if:

  • they did not provoke the dog; and
  • they were bitten in public or while lawfully on the dog owner’s property.

If you have been attacked by a dog and your situation matches the above criteria, reach out to an attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases.

A person cannot sue if:

  • they were trespassing on the dog owner’s property;
  • they provoked the dog;
  • the dog was protecting the owner or another person close to the owner; or
  • the dog was a military or police animal being used in accordance with the agency’s written policies.

If your situation matches the above criteria, the dog owner may be able to sue you for damages; especially if the dog was injured as a result of the altercation.

What Compensation Can Be Sought?

People who have been bitten by a dog are entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Damages that can be compensated include:

  • medical bills
  • vocational or physical therapy
  • psychological counseling
  • lost wages
  • lost earning capacity
  • pain and suffering
  • scarring
  • loss of limb use

In addition, families of victims who were fatally wounded by a dog attack may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium and wrongful death.

Reach Out to Eliot Reiner APLC

If you have been injured by someone else’s dog, it’s imperative to contact our firm. We can help you maximize your chances of gaining fair compensation by building a strong case against the other party.

Contact us onlineor call us at (916) 778-3228 for a legal consultation.

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